A well-built site can typically last between 2-4 years before needing a major update or overhaul. Some industries, however, call for more frequent website updates and overhauls to stay on top of design trends, maintain proper functionality, and to stand out from the competition. But knowing whether your site could use a touch-up or a complete overhaul isn’t always easy.
One simple way to make this determination is to have a professional web development company perform a Website Audit to see where improvements can be made. Alternatively, you can review your site yourself while referencing this checklist to make sure your site is in tip-top shape.
Updating Plugins Breaks Your Site
Most websites that operate on a content management system, such as WordPress, use at least a few plugins to add some functionality. It’s very important to keep these plugins up to date to maintain your site’s security and keep it running smoothly. However, over time you may run into some compatibility issues with your site.
This can happen when you haven’t updated your website’s theme or WordPress version or plugins or PHP version on your hosting server in quite a long time. Sometimes plugin developers will even stop making updates to their plugins or cease offering support, which can cause them to become obsolete.
So if updating your plugins is causing your site to break, it’s time for a website overhaul.
Your Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly
If your website is not mobile-friendly, meaning that it loads slowly on mobile devices or images, forms, buttons, and text do not automatically resize when going from desktop to mobile, you need a website overhaul. 50 percent of all web traffic comes from mobile devices today. This means that half of your visitors are having a mobile experience when using your site.
If your website isn’t capable of providing a great mobile experience with easy navigability and fast load speeds, you could be missing out on almost half your sales. Mobile-friendliness should be treated as essential to do business online these days. So, if your website isn’t delivering the mobile experience your customers have come to expect, don’t hold off doing a site overhaul. There’s just too much missed opportunity to keep waiting.
To learn more about optimizing your website for mobile search, check out this post.
Your Website Has Low Search Results Rankings & Bad Performance Scores
There are a lot of tools out there to help you measure your website’s performance. There’s Google Insights, GT Metrix, Pingdom, Moz, and seobility, just to name a few. While you should take the scores given by these tools with a grain of salt, they can give you a good idea of where your site is lacking. And if you’re consistently receiving poor scores across all of these tools, there’s a good chance your site needs some help.
Sometimes these scores can be raised by properly optimizing your images, deleting unused or old plugins, upgrading your hosting package, or tweaking your headings and keywords. However, sometimes that’s not enough. This is often the case when your website was built on an outdated theme that uses old code.
In these cases, you’re sadly never going to be able to improve the site’s performance to the level it should be and it’s best to do a complete overhaul.
You Recently Got a New Website, But It Doesn’t Look Very Good
It’s not uncommon for a business to hire a reputable web development company to build them a new website that is well-made, but the design just doesn’t look very good. This is why it’s best to hire a company that does both web design and development so that your site both looks and works great.
In these cases, it’s likely okay to hire a different company to touch up the design of the site. However, this will depend on the theme the site was built on and it’s level customization. Some themes offer very little flexibility, which can make it difficult to implement dramatic visual improvements.
So if your site was built on a theme that uses out-of-the-box templates and you’re wanting to make substantial changes to the design, you’ll unfortunately need a new, custom-built site that offers the level of versatility you’re looking for.
You’re Wanting to Add New Functionality & Features to Your Site
Aside from performance and design, one of the top reasons to get a website overhaul is when you’re not able to add new functionality to your site that would help grow your business. Sometimes all it takes is installing a new plugin or integrating a third-party service to add features to your site. But if a site is too outdated, the support for new features may be limited.
The good news is that if your site is so old that it won’t accept additional features and functional improvements, there are likely other serious underlying security and performance issues that need to be addressed anyway.
So, Touch-Up or Overhaul?
Hopefully, this list gives you a better idea of what to look for when considering whether to touch up or overhaul your website. And if you’re still unsure, ask Barta Media Group to perform a FREE Website Audit to determine what can be done for your site.